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The importance of caring for yourself

- This blog post is written by Maggie Mae O'Daniel - 

This semester has been a rollercoaster, seemingly with more downs than ups. I overloaded myself with a difficult academic load and way too many extracurricular activities. At first, this was fine. I would go to my several club meetings each night, do my Young Life leader things, accomplish any RA tasks necessary, and try to find time to do my homework somewhere in between all of those things. I thought all of this was very life-giving. It seemed this way in the beginning, but slowly everything began to add up and it really took a toll on me. My academics began to suffer, as did my social life and my overall well-being.

I suffered through many weeks of feeling very down, unmotivated, and extremely anxious. I tried to talk to my friends about it, but it was obvious that they didn’t really understand what was going on, or at least they didn’t understand the gravity of it all. Then, I went to my parents about it. Thankfully, they are two of the most understanding and gracious people on this planet, so we all worked together to come up with a plan. This involved talking to academic advising, who was not always the most agreeable.

After much stress and contemplation, it was decided that the best plan for me would be to drop down to part-time classroom studies. This was extremely hard for me to accept. I felt like a total failure. It meant I had to step down from my RA job, lose all of my leadership positions, and completely change my college plan. But I chose the option that I rarely choose: to take care of myself. It has been about two weeks since dropping to part-time, and I feel like a different person. I am able to spend time actively doing things to take care of myself, and it feels great. I no longer have unnecessary stressors in my life, and I am able to be intentional in the activities I choose to partake in. I am no longer doing things simply to build my resume; I am doing things that genuinely build me up and give me life. I have never been better. Someone even asked me the other day, “If you knew you only had a year left to live, what would you change about your life?” And I honestly answered, “Nothing.”

All of this goes to say, don’t be afraid to be bold in taking care of yourself. You are important, and you matter, so treat yourself like it.

  Maggie Mae O'Daniel is a sophomore from Goldsboro, N.C. and is a member of the publishing committee. Contact superheroprojectunc@gmail.com to get involved.     Supported by a Robert E. Bryan Fellowship from the APPLES Service-Learning Program, an offering of the Carolina Center for Public Service at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. 

Maggie Mae O'Daniel is a sophomore from Goldsboro, N.C. and is a member of the publishing committee. Contact superheroprojectunc@gmail.com to get involved. 

Supported by a Robert E. Bryan Fellowship from the APPLES Service-Learning Program, an offering of the Carolina Center for Public Service at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. 

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